• FINANCIAL AID GLOSSARY OF TERMS

    Terms to know and what to do with them:

    • California Dream Act – What students who were brought to the U.S. under the age of 16 without proper visas/immigration documentation who have attended school on a regular basis and otherwise meet in-state tuition and GPA requirements would fill out for financial aid, as opposed to the FAFSA. The changes in DACA do not effect this application in California.
    • Cal Grant – A grant provided to California students attending school in California who meet specific GPA requirements and family income requirements. Cal Grants are determined by submitting the FAFSA. TUHSD automatically sends student GPA verification to the California Student Aid Commission so families do not need to do anything in order to qualify.
    • COA (Cost of Attendance) – The total amount (not including grants and scholarships) that it will cost you to go to school during the school year.  COA includes tuition and fees; housing and meals; and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and dependent care.  It also includes miscellaneous and personal expenses, such as an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer; costs related to a disability; and reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs.  For students attending less than half-time, the COA includes tuition and fees; and allowance for books, supplies, and transportation; and dependent care expenses.
    • CSS Profile– A financial aid application distributed by the College Board that is required by some private schools to qualify for financial aid. The CSS Profile requires a fee to set up an account and submit. Waivers are available.
    • Direct Subsidized Loan – Loans that the US Department of Education pays the interest on while you're in school at least half-time, for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period), and during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).
    • Direct Unsubsidized Loan– Loans that the borrower is responsible for paying the interest on during all periods.  If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).
    • EFC (Expected Family Contribution)– A number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive.  It is based on the financial information provided in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  This is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. 
    • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)– A government document that collects personal and financial information to determine how much your family can afford in paying for college. The FAFSA is filed every year to determine how much financial aid you will be receiving. It is FREE.
    • Federal Work Study– A federal student aid program that provides part-time employment while the student is enrolled in school to help pay his or her education expenses.  The student must seek out and apply for work-study jobs at his or her school.  The student will be paid directly for the hours he or she works and the amount he or she earns cannot exceed the total amount awarded by the school for the award year.  The availability of work-study jobs varies by school.
    • Financial Aid Package -The letter you will receive from the colleges that you are admitted to that summarizes all of the federal, state, and institutional aid the student will receive. This does not include any outside scholarships that the student has applied for.
    • Grants and Scholarships – Student aid funds that do not have to be repaid.  Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based.
    • Institutional Scholarship – A scholarship awarded by the college that you have been admitted to. Students can be automatically considered based on their application, but sometimes may be required to submit a separate application or supplement materials. The student may not be automatically informed that these scholarships exist and should check the website of the Financial Aid Office at their school for more information. Students can also contact specific departments to see if there are awards / scholarships that may go unadvertised. Some institutional scholarships may not be awarded to incoming freshmen, but could become available during sophomore year.
    • Loans – Borrowed money that must be repaid with interest.  Loans from the federal government typically have a lower interest rate than loans from private lenders.  Federal loans, listed from most advantageous to least advantageous, are called Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, and Parent PLUS Loans.  You can find more information about federal loans at StudentAid.gov. 
    • Middle Class Scholarship– A scholarship provided to students who will attend a UC / CSU that meet the GPA and income requirements. To find out more, click here.
    • Net Cost– An estimate of the actual cost that a student and his or her family need to pay in a given year to cover education expenses for the student to attend a particular school.  Net price is determined by taking the institution's cost of attendance and subtracting any grants and scholarships for which the student may be eligible.
    • Outside Scholarship– A scholarship awarded by an organization that is not the school you have been admitted to. This could be a non-profit, Tam High School, a corporation, local business, etc. Generally, these are found through multiple sources, require separate applications, and have varying processes for providing funding.
    • Parent PLUS Loans– A loan available to the parents of dependent undergraduate students for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. 
    • Pell Grant – A grant provided by the federal government to students who meet specific family income requirements. Pell Grants are determined by submitting the FAFSA. Click here to find out more about Pell Grants.
    • Private Student Loans: A nonfederal loan made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, state agency, or school.